Saturday, August 16, 2008

Of scarecrows and bash

Yesterday, Mr Tan Tan made natto (fermented beans) chahan (fried rice) at the request of Mrs Tan Tan and luckily the taste turned out quite well. haha :) (anyway, the ingredients are already fermented.. how bad you think it can get)
The rest of yesterday was normal but today was an interesting day.

Not so much on the earlier part of the day, but the evening was fun. We had a welcome bash organised for us as well as another JET in Owase from USA. The bash was held at the Kumano Kodo Center which is made from Cypress wood.

Interestingly, we chanced upon a kakashi (scarecrow) competition. Never seen so many kakashis before. These were created by the kids in Owase. We took some photos, below.
* just a note: the "thing" beside Mrs Tan Tan is definitely not me. And there is this dragonball WuKong alike right behind.

And "YES", this is the entrance to a sento or public bath!!

Walking down, we arrive at the Kumano Kodo Center where nearby, there was a playground (in the shape of a ship) made from Cypress wood once again. . . what else you expect from Owase?
And this is the center with the surrounding views:

Oh .. something interesting caught my eye and it was a drawing on the building (see photo below)

The photo depicts a traditional Owase dance in which all Owase born and raised residents will need to know. (Owase Bushi) - was informed that we can get to see this during Owase festival somewhere in 15th Sept. (looking forward to it)
Ok. Now to the bash.
It was definitely fun and interesting and very different. The party was organised by Owase International Exchange Association and attended by a small group of people (ard 15-20) of mostly obasans and ojisans. Interesting people with interesting characters and from all walks of life. Well, we didn't take any photos as we did not really know if it was okay to do so. But both the Tan Tans had fun. The party was kicked off by a short welcome speech and self-introductions by the Tan Tans. This was followed by the "Kanpai" or cheers and then followed by food and drinks and lots of introductions of Singapore and ourselves.
It seems like Japanese are really interested in Singapore and they were taught in school that Singapore is a "FINE" city and is also a city which is also a country.
Friendships were formed through the short interaction.
And to end a party, the Japanese had an interesting way. Everyone got up, and the most senior person in the party made a short speech before the rest clapped once before the party came to an official end.

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